When I fell pregnant I pondered whether I would join a Mother's group. I delved briefly into a very popular baby and parenting forum. What I saw there I did not like. There were so many women attacking each other over their parenting choices. Full blown arguments would be sparked over what age you should switch your child from rearward facing carseat to forward facing. The attacks were at times deeply personal and scathing.
The experience left me wondering if I would want to join a real life mother's group. Would it be the same? I find women can be so brutal to one another when it comes to mothering. Everything you do is judged, and often the information is conflicting. I certainly did not want to join some clicky, judgemental group. I felt I had enough women around me to give me any support or guidance I needed, so did I really need a mothers group? I decided that no, I would not need one.
However fate would play it's own card. When my Husband and I attended our Pre natal class we found most of the couples there lovely and engaging. A few of them we really clicked with. We had a great time in class with our brilliant, informative midwife. At the end of our last class we set a date to get together once all the babies were born and meet again. And meet again we did.
Four of us enjoyed the catch up so much that we have caught up (almost) fortnightly ever since.
This group of women have been wonderful. We have shared the first year of our child's life with each other. It has been a pleasure to watch each other's child grow. Together we have swapped tip while commiserating over sleepless nights and teething issues. We have laughed over stories of vomit, poop and baths (some stories have involved all three!). Most of all we have supported each other through this amazing time.
There have been no attacks on each other, no arguments over the 'best' way to mother. We have all made different choices to each other. Our motto has been ' Do what you think is right for you and your baby'. In doing this we have accepted each other's choices, even if they were not the same as our own.
In the end it has shown me that mothers groups can be empowering and valuable. You just need to find the right group of mothers and leave judgement at the door!